Friday, April 21, 2017

Truth, Justice, and the "American Way"

No, this is not a post about Superman. Except, maybe it is a little bit. Or a lot.

"Truth, justice, and the American way," as a phrase, has been around for long enough at this point that people don't realize it originated with Superman. They may know it's been associated with Superman but most people think it's its own thing, not what amounts to a marketing phrase for the 50's Adventures of Superman, the Superman show I watched in syndication when I was a kid.

I'm not sure if there was an idea tying truth and justice to America prior to Superman (and I'm not doing the research on that, right now, to try and figure it out),but Superman, since his inception, has been tied to truth and justice. From the early days of the comic book to his days on the radio and, then, in the earlier TV series, Superman always stated that he was here to fight for truth and justice. That's all, just truth and justice. Those, to me, seem like things worth fighting for. I'm not so sure about the "American way."

See, the "American way" was something tossed in during the 50s in the midst of the Red Scare and McCarthy-ism and was less about America than it was about White America: Leave It To Beaver, white picket fences, and Father Knows Best. Probably some Andy Griffith, too. TV in the 50s was all about the "American way," and it's hard for me to dissociate that idea from those TV shows because they epitomize so much of the idea of the "American way."

And I'm not going to try and say that there's nothing attractive about those shows and the, for lack of a better word, ideal they put on display. But it was all a fantasy. Real life America was never like Father Knows Best or Mayberry. Real life America has never been all White all the time in nice little subdivisions with white picket fences. And it's never been about women who wear their heels and pearls in the kitchen while making dinner all day. All of this isn't even a White fantasy; it's a White Male fantasy about how everyone else lives to serve them in their own individual little kingdoms.

It's kind of sick.

It's possible I wouldn't have a problem with the whole "truth, justice, and the American way" thing if truth and justice were a part of it, had ever been a part of it. But the "American way," as it applies here, has always been about white male supremacy. It's why Steve Bannon holds the 50s up as his ideal era of what we need to get back to. The White Male was supreme, and everyone else knew their places.

As for truth and justice? We seem to have culturally abandoned those ideas of late. We've abandoned truth in favor of opinion and, even, outright lies. You can see the evidence of that in the man who was elected president, a man with absolutely no relationship with truth whatsoever. His lackeys display the same break from reality with their "alternative facts" and misrepresentation of historical accuracy. Sorry folks, history is not an opinion. Things happened. Saying they didn't or trying to recast those events in some other light doesn't make them not have happened.

And we've abandoned justice in favor of racial prejudice and allowing the rich more and more power and money. "We" have allowed the Republicans to wave religious dogma at Conservatives to keep them in power so that they can continually enable corporations the ability to take advantage of people, poison their water, and keep them in debt. That Jeff Sessions and Neil Gorsuch are where they are serve as proof that we have shoved justice down the stairs and broken her scales. We have become the money lenders in the Temple, and have elected the worst of them as president.

This seems to be the "American Way": no truth, no justice, just the dream of white picket fences in white neighbors with white schools.

Superman isn't coming. It's time to abandon this "American Way" nonsense as the fable it always was. It's time to stand for truth and justice. Truth and Justice! Which means demanding, all of us, that we have politicians who are knowledgeable, smart, and believe in facts, not money. It means demanding a change to the system so that the system doesn't check our skin color before it decides who gets a fair shake. It's time.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Clone Wars -- "Missing in Action" (Ep. 5.11)

-- A soldier's most powerful weapon is courage.

[Remember, you can sign up to join the Clone Wars Project at any time by clicking this link.]
[Well, actually, considering that we're into season five, now, probably no one new is going to sign up, BUT! Hop over to The Armchair Squid for his take on the current episode.]

The adventures of Colonel Gascon continue this week, and we get a clone thrown into the mix. With amnesia. Generally speaking, I hate amnesia stories, but the story of Gregor has been the best thing about this arc so far. Except for the Russian-sounding sullustan. And it would have been okay if they had just used the Russian accent for a bit of audio-flavor, but he was clearly culturally Russian, including naming the clone Gregor, and that felt a little weird.

So, yeah, I'm tired of Gascon, the frog general. I think the first time I watched the series I found him amusing -- that's my memory impression, anyway -- but, this time, I just find him tiresome. It's the prejudice against droids and his own self importance that does it. Perhaps, though, it's fitting for the time we're in, right now, because there are some analogies that can be drawn from the character. Clearly, he has the attitudes of the typical white male boomer; maybe that's why they made him a frog, which is a thought I am, at this moment, finding amusing.

Not enough for me not to be ready for this arc to finish, though. I'm ready to get back to the real story.


"I hope you have a plan to get us off this armpit."

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Come To My Attention

It's come to my attention that there are those of Trump supporters who wish I had never been born. To paraphrase what was said, "The world be a better place if you had never been in it." Which, you know, is ironically amusing coming from the side of the political line which wants to make abortion something that doesn't exist.

But the attitude is something I've come to expect from those on the Right, the Conservatives, the ones who believe that only they have the right to be full people. Yes, freedom of religion but only as long as everyone practices religion exactly as they do. Yes, freedom of speech as long as people never disagree with them. Oh, and if you have some other shade of skin than "white," you better be really rich and willing to contribute a lot of green to get to play in the club.

[A recent study has shown that insurance companies consistently charge minorities up to 30% more for car insurance than they charge whites within the same risk bracket. No, there is no reason for this other than that they are not white.]

For me, the thing that makes this situation so hilarious <he said, ironically> is that the person with the specific "complaint" that finally inspired me to write this post is someone who consistently came into my space to complain about the things I was saying. I wasn't going into his spaces and calling him names or saying bad things about Trump supporters at his house or anything like that. No, he was going out of his way to come to my place and, then, getting offended by it. Over and over again.

Because, you know, that's the way Conservatives like to do it: They like to get mortally (yes, mortally) offended by things that happen nowhere near them, have nothing to do with them, and will never affect them. It's like this:
When I was a teenager growing up in Louisiana (a horrible, Hellish place that I would never wish on anyone) [And I'm not just talking about the weather in regard to Louisiana or the mosquitoes. They have the highest incarceration rate of anywhere in the world! One of the worst education systems in the country. And the politics... Look, despite the fact that we currently have Trump as president, the politics in Louisiana are... well, I'll sum it up this way: Edwin Edwards, David Duke, and Bobby Jindal.]
But I digress... Let me start over:
When I was a teenager growing up in Louisiana, people used to fervently wish and pray for the day that California would suffer a catastrophic earthquake and fall off into the ocean. Why? Because California was filled with gays and hedonism and anyone who would live in California deserved... well, God's judgement, but God's judgement was always something along the lines of Sodom and Gamorrah, because Californians didn't deserve to live. When I was a kid, California was just about the last place I ever wanted or expected to live, not least because I didn't expect it to still exist the way people talked.

Of course, it was while I was a teenager that I started having... issues... at church because of my own views. Frequently, my own views had to do with my much more accurate interpretation of the Bible. Not even the youth pastor or pastor ever came away from a disagreement with me about the Bible in which they didn't at the very least say, "You're not wrong." And my other view which said, "Why does it matter what other people do in their own homes if it's not affecting you?" [This was something I most often said when someone was going off about homosexuality.] The response was always, "Because it's wrong!" And I would say, "So is adultery, but you're not advocating for cheaters to die." [That's kind of a personal pet peeve, that "Christians" spend so much time slamming people of other sexual orientations while mostly ignoring infidelity, which must be at least an equivalent kind of sin, and I would say it's worse.]

What Conservatives/Fundamentalists (of all types) need to learn is this:
The planet is not yours. You do not own it. You do not have control of it. You share it with other people and YOU (you fascist asshole) need to learn how to SHARE. That means you need to learn how to live with people who don't believe the same things you do AND you need to QUIT trying to control other people. Also, consider your actions before you take them: If they could hurt someone else (like, if, you're going to put an oil pipeline that could leak near someone's water source, DON'T do it), don't do that thing. Also, also, corporations are not people and shouldn't be treated as such. Also some more, reducing your profits when you are still making a profit is NOT hurting you, especially if it's making someone else's life better.

I could go on.

All of that to say this:
If Trump supporters are getting tweaked enough by the things I say that they are more than wishing that I wasn't saying them, GOOD! I'm going to keep saying them. Because, you know, at this point, if you are still supporting Trump, you're either just an outright asshole (uneducated, racist, -ist-ist) or you'r clinging to Trump out of stubbornness because you don't want to admit that you were wrong, which makes you an asshole. Either way, you're an asshole.
Oh, or you're a Republican congressman who has no spine or no morality. That also makes you an asshole.

And, sure, I get that if you're a Trump supporter that you, in all likelihood, think that I'm the asshole, BUT, you know what, you DON'T HAVE TO COME INTO MY SPACE. So, really, if you disagree with me, stop engaging with the things I say.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Day 15

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Soldiers came to the door today and took our TV. They gave us money for it, but it wasn’t enough not to make my dad mad. He loved that TV. It was a huge flat screen thing that my dad said made it so that he never had to go out to the movie theater again. And made him feel like he was right in his football games. He’s been spewing about the super bowl all day and how was he going to watch it now. Not that he could have watched it even with the TV since the TV isn’t good for more than watching static.

After the thing with the Statue of Liberty message on the TV channels – lots of them, evidently – Trump decided it was better for “people” not to have TVs. They are, according to the soldiers, too much of a risk for receiving Chinese propaganda. Or anti-Trump propaganda. Something. He doesn’t want us to see anything he doesn’t want us to see. So only certain places will have TVs, and people are urged to go to these gathering places for his daily messages.

Thankfully, I’ll be in school. Thank God for the little things, right?

Not that I think I believe in God, not anymore. Not the God they talk about at church, anyway. Any god that was any amount of good would not have let someone like Trump be president. The fact that so many people at church like Trump because he’s getting rid of “the gays” and “putting the niggers in their place” just proves that that god, if he exists, is not a good god.

But I was talking about the soldiers…

They had to restrain my dad while they were stealing the TV. He screamed and cursed at them the whole time. At one point, when they were taking the TV off the wall, he pulled one of his arms loose and tried to go for the guys taking the TV down. Two of the soldiers tackled him to the floor, and one of them punched him in the face and told him if he was smart he would stay down.

Mom cried.

As they walked out the door, they gave my dad $200. He threw the money back at them, yelling, “I don’t want your fucking money! I don’t want your fucking money!” When they just threw the TV in the back of their truck with all of the others, like a piece of junk, my dad ran out in the yard at them, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing? Do you know how much that cost me?”

One of them pulled a gun and my dad stopped so fast he fell down. I might have laughed if I hadn’t been so scared. I don’t like my dad very much, right now, but I don’t want someone to shoot him.

Two more soldiers came up with another TV and threw it in on top of all the others, then they pulled the truck down the street a few houses, and I saw soldiers all over the street coming with TVs and throwing them in the truck. My dad stood there watching them for a long time even after they were gone. He stood in the yard and stared at the corner where the truck had turned off on when they left.

He left the money on the porch when he came back inside. He doesn’t know I picked it up. I don’t think anyone saw me get it, and it hasn’t been mentioned again. It’s in my hiding box now. For California.

My dad spent the rest of today fuming about football and the super bowl. He’s already been complaining about football since we lost the internet. huh That’s probably why he’s been so desperate for an antenna for the TV. I guess that won’t be a problem anymore.

I don’t even know if football is still going on. Not that I care. I hate football and how stupid everyone acts about it, like it’s the most important thing in the world. I can’t even talk to Dad when football is on. I think the house could burn down and he wouldn’t even notice until he was on fire.

So maybe that will be a good thing, not to have football in the house, even if I do miss being able to watch TV. Not as much as I did right at first, though. I’ve found some other things to do, even reading. I got Fahrenheit 451 from school, and it’s pretty good. I wanted The Hunger Games, but all the copies are gone, so my teacher said I should Bradbury, instead, because that was more real. I don’t know what she meant, exactly, but I saw the movies of Hunger Games, and I guess I would say Fahrenheit is more real than that. I mean, they did come take our TV which is kind of like burning the books in 451.


That’s a scary thought.